E is for Empty Yourself, 2024

Silver gelatin prints

E is for Empty Yourself is a long-term photographic project focusing on my father, our relationship, and his journey through drug addiction and substance abuse recovery in the aftermath of a career as a police officer. My dad, Paul, worked the night shift as an NYPD officer in the Bronx during the 1980s, 1990s, and early 2000s. In 2022, my dad moved into a new apartment in Queens; the first time he’s lived alone in over 15 years. This project focuses on this new chapter of his life, creating photographs centered on five main categories: drug addiction and alcoholism, religion, economic precarity, attempts at self-agency, and the relationship he has created with iconographic– and predominantly male– pop cultural symbols that he surrounds himself with. I position my father’s struggles as yet another, albeit more personal, failure of the criminal justice system; a system known for the exploitative ways in which it has used its workers as pawns for political gain. Within this work, I am trying to bring considerations of class, education, and workplace conditions into larger discussions around state violence, the future of the American worker, and the institution of policing.